Child autonomy and choice


Helping a child be autonomous builds self-esteem and generally makes him feel good. It also helps a child continue to be more mindful of his own thinking and surroundings. When an adult swoops in to help or take-over, the child is not able to learn and can easily detach from the situation. I recently read a list of ideas to help create child autonomy developed by a University of Minnesota researcher on early childhood development.

A few simple and profound ideas caught my eye:

Wait 60 seconds before jumping in to help a child play or solve a problem. As a parent or care provider, always watch a child play first. It is so tempting to help – to help that child put the block in the ‘right’ way. Or color the sun the ‘right’ color. When an adult waits 60 seconds to help, the following things can happen: 1)…

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